Customers take online reviews very seriously. In fact, the majority of consumers value online reviews almost as highly as personal recommendations and frequently cite positive reviews as a motivation for purchasing goods or services. Conversely, bad reviews can have a strong negative impact on a business’s reputation. That’s why business owners need to take reviews seriously. The following are a few tips for online reputation management.
Solicit More Reviews
Unfortunately, customers are more likely to write a review when they’re unhappy than when they’re happy, so one of the best things a business can do is to motivate satisfied customers to write reviews. One way to do this is to ask customers to write a review immediately after a transaction. Many companies are using online review management software to email customers automatically with a link to a Google review.
Respond Quickly To Negative Comments
It’s important to deal with negative reviews as soon as possible to minimize their impact. Monitoring review sites and getting alerts whenever the company is mentioned can help businesses be aware of reviews that need attention. By responding within a day or two at the most, the company is demonstrating their concern and willingness to make things right.
Don’t Be Afraid To Apologize
It’s never very comfortable to say “I’m sorry,” especially in a public forum. However, many customers who write negative reviews do so because they specifically want an apology. Giving a sincere apology for the customer’s unhappy experience shows empathy and concern. It’s also a jumping off point for explaining the situation and assuring the customer that it will not happen again.
Take The Conversation Offline
While it’s important to respond to negative reviews publicly, it’s also crucial to invite the reviewer to contact the company by phone or email to resolve the problem. Again, this demonstrates to readers that the company is genuinely concerned and willing to work with customers to solve problems.
Respond To Positive Reviews, Too
In addition to addressing negative reviews promptly, don’t forget to thank customers who have written positive reviews, and address those reviewers by name. This helps to foster a friendly relationship with the customer, and it can also be an opportunity to promote new products, services, or a sales event.